Why is it that two people can have an idea for a great online membership, say helping jewelry designers grow their businesses, then one has fantastic success and the other just never seems to make it work?

They both probably have expertise, they both probably work very hard and they both probably have a passion to succeed.

So why does one succeed?

That’s the question I asked my friend Tracy Matthews, the founder of Flourish and Thrive Academy, a business serving an online community of jewelry designers that has quickly grown to be a 7 figure business.

Tracy’s story is one of Success By Intent and she shares some real gems in this week’s podcast episode.

You can watch the video, listen to the audio, download from the podcast directory, or read the transcript below.
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Show Notes

We cover 3 distinct topics in this episode:

Visibility, Leadership and Being YOU

  1. The exact path Tracy took to test proof of concept and know her idea would be profitable.
  2. Tracy’s mindset around Success by Intent
  3. The celebration of the first $6000
  4. The thing that made her path to success fast, when she had never had an online business before.

Tribal Leadership

  1. What it means to lead an online tribe
  2. Leader mindset

Growth

  1. What is absolutely necessary if you intend to grow an engaged community online without burning out
  2. How Tracy runs 2 successful businesses and still has a life
  3. Action steps you can take THIS WEEK to create your own success by intent

Links and Resources Mentioned

Read The Transcript Here

Janet Beckers: Hello and welcome everybody, Janet Beckers here! And I’m really excited to welcome you tonight to my lovely friend, Tracy Matthews.

Tracy Matthews: Hey Janet, great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Janet Beckers: Yeaaah. Now Tracy and I got to know each other really well for a Mastermind group that we would go in for a year. Where I’ve got the opportunity like I travel to US 2 out 12 months I was in the US travelling, exploring while I was there and the biggest highlights for me were the amazing people that I got to meet in this group and Tracy really stood out for me. Apart from others. But as you get to meet her. Tracy is just really positive and really enthusiastic. But also, I just love watching you Tracy where you would go, “You know what, I’m going to do this to be able. I’m going to try out this marketing strategy. I’m going to try out this strategy with my tribe of clients to see if this helps with engagement”. Like you’re never content to get stagnant. “Well this is what I’ve always done. And I’ll just keep on doing that.”

Tracy Matthews: Nahhh, I am innovative.

Janet Beckers: I know and that’s just fantastic. And you’re really really open about, “Well I tried doing this, it didn’t work.” “This is awesome and look at those great results” So for me who is somebody, like I love that creativity part of business to see you embracing that with so much enthusiasm but also so much authenticity makes you really fantastic person to watch as well to get to know so yah.

Tracy Matthews: Well thanks Janet. You know, you’re always such a vibrant energetic person in the community too. I always learn so much from you being in that group as well. And I think we have a similar outlook on life because we’re both very positive people. We love and honor people and it’s just, we love being in that tribe. You’re nurturing you tribe too because it is the way all grown together as entrepreneurs which is amazing.

Janet Beckers: Yeah, absolutely. And that tribe is of course the big reason why I’m passionate about what I do and that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. Finding Tracy believing in her business and also because there’s a lot of people who listen to this podcast who are in the creative field. They are either creative people who can’t help but approach things in a creative way or the actual work that they do is creative. So can you tell us quickly about who it is that you serve? and how do you do that?

Tracy Matthews: Absolutely! So I am Tracy Matthews, as Janet said. I served at Jewelry Industry. I teach independent jewelry brands to grow their business with practical marketing and business skills. And we help them launch, grow and scale based on where they are in their business. And I do that through online courses, through monthly membership and we also have a high-level coaching program. And one of the favorite things to do is my podcast “Thrive by Design” started out as just for jewelry designers and now it’s really for creative visionaries. For those people who have amazing ideas and who really want to get their voice heard out in the world and really want to get the right support so that they can move a little bit faster and exactly what I needed when I was starting out and that’s why I do it because I love it.

Janet Beckers: Yeah, that’s fantastic. And the last part that I’ve got to know from just hearing behind the scenes, how you run your business is you have a really quite a thriving community. I mean your business is flourished tribe academy as what you’d like to call it. And it also describes the culture it seems in the people attracted to be your clients because there is that real sense of a real engagement that is happening within your community. Would it be right with you actually being in it? Does it feel that way?

Tracy Matthews: Well absolutely. So you know one of the things that for me, is really important. I’m an extreme extrovert, i like being around people. I like engaging people. I like having conversations with people. It’s like video has been one of my strongest mediums and getting my message to people and I use video a lot actually to engage with my tribe because I think it’s really important but for me, keeping that engagement going is where you get results especially, I don’t know if you’ve felt this way Janet, but I know as a creative visionary and someone who’s started s an entrepreneur with 25 years ago in the 90s and built a business without much anything like there is online today before the internet was even started. The one thing I felt like I was lacking always was support and so I feel like community was one of the ways to do that. Some of the core values of our company, Flourish and Thrive Academy, is like, my number one core value really is to have fun, so I feel like everything should be fun when you’re actually learning and doing it and another core value is to always be learning. And so, when you’re always learning, you are able to innovate and sort of stay ahead of the curve, and so I think that these things have allowed us to build a really strong community because they’re leaning on one another but we’re also kind of like pushing them and I’m pushing myself continually out of my comfort zone to create that support and engagement not only in our groups but our even wider audience as well.

Janet Beckers: Yeah, that’s fantastic. Picking up that point about pushing yourself and out of your comfort zone and that learning. Let’s go back a few years ago, about why you started the business, because you’re a jeweler so you already had a successful business and you still have a successful jewelry business, don’t you?

Tracy Matthews: I have a successful jewelry business. I’m a private jeweler here in New York City or I call myself a jewelry designer, because I’m not actually physically making the jewelry anymore. I haven’t got time for that. But i love it. I have a passion for jewelry. I love working with customers. In fact, I’ve got a customer coming tonight which is super awesome. And I had a great business but one of the things that I’ve felt like was happening to me as I was kind of moving the second iteration of my business was that I had this desire to give back and help others and it started with people kind of reaching out to me for consulting packages and long story short I’m not going to go into the weeds here. This was sort of like the optimistic idea for me starting for Flourish and Thrive Academy because I was thinking that when I started my first business and trying to get that support in consulting help. I didn’t know where to go and the people who were around, it wasn’t really a right fit in the respective budget and also in their respective industry experience. And so I wanted to just test this idea and really push myself out of my comfort zone because a few were asking me for help and I knew that I couldn’t help them so I like took it. I don’t think it was really a gamble in a sense. But I wanted to make sure that this was a proven idea because they already had successful business and I knew if I was going to put energy into growing in education platform in really helping people then I was going to do it a hundred percent. So I wanted to make sure this was the right fit because I knew that that meant I would have step away from my jewelry business a little bit and then I would give it as much love. When I say that, I would be limited to a number of clients that I could check on.. So, I’d give them great service, you know what I mean. So, I was talking to my co-founder. I co-founded the company of my friend, Robyn Kramer. She’s still involved in the business but then, Chief Visionary Officer now and she’s kind of doing her coaching program with the wholesale on the side. When we started I said, here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to consult with the Launch Manager. I want someone who already knows what they’re doing to tell us the stuff and what’s going to entail before I dive in. Because I want to know what I’m getting in to. And I want someone to show me what to do because I don’t want to waste my time trying to figure this out. Yah, she said “You should pre-sell the course” and so I was like let’s do this. So we got an opt-in, we spent 3 weeks building and doing Lead Generation in a Facebook Group, doing random Social Media. We got 300 people on our list just by reaching out people that we knew. We did a beta launch of the program doing pre-sale. And we sold 20 slots of the program and we would deliver by September. So we got 6-8 weeks to get that done. We did an official launch in September. We have 50 people total take our program at the first get go. We knew that we had an idea. I told Robyn that we weren’t going to move forward because we were both working for free in the beginning. We weren’t going to move forward after 6 months we didn’t turn our profit. It was in our first 6 months, we turned our profit. We made our first 6000$ which has our products and then we launched our program fully in January of the following year. So we spent 6 months like from the middle of the year to January, building it. And that January, we had 125 people join our program for a different price point, so much higher. It was real. We knew that we had something. We knew that it was good. Many of our first students 6 years ago are coaches and have programs now which is pretty awesome because they’ve learned so much from us. And it’s been an amazing way to leverage what we teach and leverage myself because they know everything that I teach. I don’t have to be the only person teaching it which is awesome.

Janet Beckers: Yah, there’s a couple of things that I really want to point out to people who are listening is because a really cool part of this particular podcast is I want you to take action. So there’s a few really important action points there that Tracy’s mentioned that really make a difference between if you’re going to be a person who’s got an idea and let’s get this happening to a person who’s actually positioning themselves, “You know what, I’m going to build a tribe and I’m going to be the leader. ” There were a couple of things, one was having that reality check, “I have an existing business. I’m only going to do this it it makes me the money. I’m not going to hold on to this because it’s my love, it’s my passion. I’m going into this with the mindset of a CEO.” And so I think, that’s a big thing that a lot of people miss. they’ll just be going like, “Yeah, this could work. It could work.” Yours was, “It’s going to work in this time and I’m going to reinvent the wheel and let me get somebody who can get me there.” That makes a huge difference.

Tracy Matthews: Oh my gosh, it saves so much time. I can’t even like.If that’s all anyone does, it’s just have someone tell them what to do, people buck in investing programs, coaches or consultants. It is the best spent money ever. I will always continue. We were spending tens of thousands being a mastermind group and my business tripled when I was in that group and put me over 7 figures and so, I’d say that because without that group I know that wouldn’t have happened because the ideas, the guidance, the camaraderie, the support that I got from that group helped me get to my next level. So any level in business that you are, like you’ll always going to need those kind of people. They kind of push you beyond what you know. And you’ll move so much faster. And I always say, “Invest in your business. Invest in yourself.” because who wants a place they’re trying figuring it out doing text stuff when you’re not good at that.

Janet Beckers: Absolutely, explore those things that you feel like you’re doing your business stuff because you’ve been really really busy working out on how to add a plugin on your wordpress site. That’s much better if you’re going to be a pro in this side of business. That’s a really important step why Tracy is the person who succeeded in this nation and continues to succeed rather than being one of the many others who thought, “This is a great kind of deal. ” And the other thing that I really think is an important thing for people to notice here, I absolutely love how you shared that you didn’t try to go out and find the most sophisticated and complicated ways to start with all your mailing list. And that if I didn’t have.. You used your existing networks. You used your relationships. And with 300 people, that was enough for you to launch your proof of concept. That is a such a huge lesson for so many people because they’ll go, a lot of chance, people will go look “I need an evergreen webinar.” And they even haven’t tested every single thing that is happening. Is there actually a demand? Have I got the offer right? Whereas you just demonstrated it beautifully, you’ve got your existing relationships ask people to share things. You know just ask people. It’s really really simple. It’s not glamorous. It’s not fully automated but look where it led you.

Tracy Matthews: And I also think in this day and age, depending on what the offer is, sometimes like, having that personal attachment like really reaching out individually makes it such a bigger impact to someone saying yes especially if you’re selling high ticket, than trying to automate everything. We just had a launch recently and we’re just trying to capture some more numbers where we’re doing some unsophisticated things just to have conversations with people to invite them in the program because we wanted to get a couple more people in here. LIke 10 people. I personally spend time DM-ing people because I know how it drafts like what they’re objections going to be and help them overcome it so that they will just take a leap. While I don’t do that all the time because I don’t have the time to do that. My fingers are on my phone. You know, DM-ing and instagram people. But in the meantime, I have this personal touch I know some of this people will be fans for life because of that. Because they’re actually talking to you.

Janet Beckers: And, that’s brilliant. That’s really good. I tis bringing out that even if you’ve got a lot of support team, and we’re going to talk about it in a minute, and you may have already a lot of stuff already automated. Recognizing that even when you’re not just in startup that the conversations are really really important. And another great lesson for other people to take, don’t feel that if you’re having conversations with people. If you’re getting on the phone or if you’re doing it by private message that you’re not sophisticated enough, that you’re kind of playing small game. There’s a lot of people seem to think that. That that’s actually how the sales happen. It’s really nice to hear you say that at the beginning and also at this stage where you’re doing so so well. Now, there’s another thing that I’d really like to talk about because this is something that you do really well Tracy is we tried, and we’ve talked about that engagement that you have. You’re also, you’ve got a jewelry business, like you’re consulting straight after here with the jewelry design. You also have this successful and the continuing to grow the community around the coaching. Now, I love how you spend just a little bit of time talking about, how on earth do you manage to keep that engagement going with so little time. I mean there’s so much tracy to spread around. You’ve already said you’re the Chief Visionary Officer. You’re not Chief Weak Officer. So how do you do that? How do you keep that engagements and still not have to make everything being done by you.

Tracy Matthews: Janet, I look forward to the day where I don’t have to call myself the CEO of this company anymore. My brilliance is really coming up with ideas and working on the big relationships and inspiring people to take action and sharing my stories and how those stories relate to business ideas. That’s why I love my podcast so much. I realised a long time ago because I’ve been an entrepreneur for over 25 years that the people you surround yourself with are a direct correlation of how successful you will be. And so, I learned the hard lesson, a lesson the hard way on my first business that I probably needed to restructure and hire some different people and I did it. I kept the wrong people on my team for a while. And I love them all for different reasons but you know as Ryan, our mentor used to say all the time: “The people that got you where you are aren’t the people who always get you to the next level” So I worked really hard to build myself an amazing team and the team comes in a lot of forms because when we first launched a high-level coaching program/mastermind group for Flourish and Thrive Academy, it was just me and my co-founder coaching. And I realised that when I want coaching, well, I liked it when it was the right fit. Wasn’t always my jam whereas Robyn really loved it and I’m always thinking of how can I scale this and leverage the people who are best at doing X, Y and Z because I know that I’m not good at everything and I’m okay with not being good with everything. In fact, I tell people that I’m not good at that if I can’t do it. And so, I spent a lot of time and it’s been definitely a progression. You know, we started with our internal core team. I have someone who actually runs the business with me. She’s my business manager and she kind subjects that role a year and a half, or two years ago when she came back from maternity leave after being with the company for a while and that’s been a game-changer for me because I’m not, it’s helped me manage lesser people so i can manage what I do best at, come up with marketing strategy and creative ideas, but more than anything – around 2 year ago, I hired a couple of other core team members, one of them was launch manager, another one was a community manager another one was a writer because those were all the things I was doing. I was spending a lot of time writing, I was spending a lot of time figuring out how to launch things, and also managing the community. And being able to make that investment in team and we started with small, smaller hours and they were all willing to take more hours and as we grew, it helped free my time enough, because they were doing the heavy lifting that i didn’t necessarily need to do. And now we have like a system set up where I know exactly where i need to be, when I’m going to be responding and commenting on things and it helped, it gave me this phase where I can structure the new group when we decided we’re not going to continue our version of the Mastermind program or creative coaching group around exactly what people needed that was really best served if we hired coaches and many of them are actually former students. And so basically we have about 15 coaches on our high-level coaching program. They own a lot of businesses and a lot of them are agencies or business or they’re jewelry designers themselves who have done something really well, now they’re teaching other people how to do it. And it’s been pretty incredible and now it’s allowed me to offer amazing service to the people who are invested in our highest level. It’s allowed them to get amazing value. We are about to go out for our first round of renewal, the program’s been around for less than a year. The official renewal date is January 1st, that we didn’t intake like around October of last year and we did a little intake survey. We have 80% of original people who joins and continue. To me, that’s a huge win because that means, they’re getting results. And in that results, they want to continue getting support and it’s been really exciting for me to see how building the right team around you and really stepping into what i’m best at which is doing the high-level stuff. It’s consuming a lot of ideas, it has allowed the business to grow and I look forward to more growth when I can really do that more and we’re working on that right now with the team. It’s exciting and it’s fun and we were talking about when you’re restructuring and that somehow it’s a lot of work. And I’m up for the challenge because I am excited to see what happens on the other side because I know that’s how you deliver. That’s how you really deliver your brilliannce to your tribe. And step in to what you’re best at. And everyone’s got their fit. For me, it’s talking a lot and showing up on video and doing podcast. So

Janet Beckers: Which is kind of like my vibe as well. So, I really get that. And you know what, what I just absolutely love and this is for people who are listening about what you can take internally in your business is there’s a couple of things that I thought were really powerful lessons. Number 1 was like knowing what you’re going to and you’re just really happy to not be knowing… You acknowledge that you don’t need to do everything. And then the other thing that I thought was really powerful was a lot of times people seek the need that person, and they’re going to bring that person on full time. Who’s going to be their OIC, who’s going to be basically everything that I don’t want to do. And they’re always looking for this Holy Grail, this person who really never ever exists. I love how you went “I need someone to do this, this, this” and just brought them on for a few hours each to start with. And then built from there. that just means that you can free yourself up so much. That it doesn’t have to be something that mean I have to have reached this stage before i can possibly afford to bring somebody else on. It’s a really smart way to do it I think, Tracy.

Tracy Matthews: Thank you. Yah, I think I used to make the mistake of trying to hire someone to be everything to everyone. And when you’re running a small business, you know sometimes, most of the time you don’t have full time hours for people until you’re dealing multiple figures. Honestly, you just don’t. Unless, I mean, in my jewelry business, in the first one, i needed full-time production work, but oftentimes it was patched together by part-time work with a bunch of students because they were going to school and learning. There are different solutions out there that I think people don’ think about, about how you can get stuff on your plate. You can also hire people just for a project. It doesn’t have to be ongoing. And if I can leave with you with anything. Like if it’s the one thing, is that you suck at a lot of things in your business and it’s okay and I don’t want to have any shame about that. The best thing that you could ever do. Is to get people in who can take that at stuff out of your plate as soon as you possible can even in the short term of it even if you’re not getting paid as much and you’re taking out, I don’t want to say taking out the profit. But taking out.. Maybe just like a slight little bit out of what you might put in yourself. Only because like that will allow you to focus on the things that are actually going to help you bring more money in like sales which as the CEOs or the CVOs as they like to say the Chief Visionaries. You are always going to be the best salesperson for your brand. And tell you how to train another salesperson to do that for you. And that has been the case in my entire life. It doesn’t matter what business I’ve been in. I’ve been the number 1 salesperson for all my businesses but someone else heard the sale like they never satisfied. This doesn’t work. And so, if you can just think about that, if you were focused, if you were spending all these time 5-15$ tasks, if you free that time to focus on the 500-100,000$ an hour tasks. How would you be able to grow faster. And if you don’t, you’re always going to be a big bottleneck of that career in your business and you’re going to stunt that growth and you won’t be able to grow as quickly or get to the place where you really want to be.

Janet Beckers: Yeah, that is a really perfect note for us to finish on I think is that big lesson of stepping up and deciding you know what I am the leader, I am the Chief Visionary Officer. I love that term. I’m going to use that. Mostly, yes we have the CVOs, I mean just having that decision that what if I’m going to step up then absolutely. I am going to have to support team and I love that thing of just bringing the name for a few hours and making it happen is really really powerful. I’m so grateful for you time today Tracy. so for everyone who’s listening, for them now, how are they going to stay in tracy’s world, what’s the best place for them to go and finding you a teammate

Tracy Matthews: So the best places, you can find me in Instargram, @traceymatthewsnewyork. I know Janet will link it in the shownotes about my name is terry Cy Matthews Ny or come to the Thrive by Design podcast. You know I launched it only for jewelry designers but I’ve been told over and over, it’s overall great business advice for people who are visionaries or creatives because i speak through my lens of getting support, hiring the right team, figuring your way around like marketing strategies and coming up with innovative ideas because in my opinion it is the innovators that stay ahead in the curve and are testing something different and not resting on their laurels . You’re the ones that thrive and continue to succeed and so we talk about of fun stuff like that and i want to invite you to listen and if you can just check it out on Itunes. It’s called Thrive by Design or anywhere podcast are.

Janet Beckers: That’s brilliant so we’ll put links so if you’re listening to this overnight, you should come by to the Romance Your Tribe with site romanceyourtribe.com and you can listen to all of our podcasts there and you’ll find Tracy and you will see there it’s got there output link to everything so there will be links to Instagram, to the podcast, to Tracy’s website so you can go and connect Tracy and having a world of Tracy that would be much richer for you.

Tracy Matthews: Thanks Janet

Janet Beckers: And one of the best things that you can do if you’re listening to this podcast is you know, Tracy and I taking the time out to, you know with a great opportunity for us to catch up, but also give some faith back and tell Tracy what action you had taken this week of you listening to her advice today. That is one of the best feedback you can give. Bye everybody and thank you so much Tracy for your time. And i’m going to let you go now to go and design jewelry with this lucky tribe. Thank you for coming over. Bye everybody!

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